The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors has joined other California lawmakers, business leaders, environmental groups and government agencies in rejecting the Trump administration’s attempts to open up the California coast to new offshore oil drilling. At its July 25 meeting, the board unanimously passed a resolution in support of the nearby Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries.
The sanctuaries, the resolution notes, “are home to some of the most diverse coastal ecosystems, which support giant kelp forests, many species of marine mammals, migrating salmon and hundreds of other forms of sea life,” before going on to confirm that, yes, the threat laid out in April’s “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” presidential order “is of deep concern.”
The Trump administration’s directive calls for a “review” of national marine sanctuaries with the goal of opening these protected areas to new and expanded oil and gas drilling that are currently prohibited within them. As the resolution notes, Humboldt County “has long supported the protection of vital coastal resources, tourism, fishing and mariculture cultivation industries, and stands with other coastal counties in their efforts to protect these very pristine coastal waters.”
Efforts appear to have found some success, generating more than 67,000 comments and resulting in an extended comment period from the initial 30-day one, giving the public until Aug. 14 to weigh in. The North Coast's own Congressman Jared Huffman advocated heavily for the extension and will be holding a public forum in Marin to discuss the federal threat to the coast on Aug. 23.